Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lovely Leather Jackets

A leather jacket is a staple in my wardrobe, and really, in my life. If you don't already have one, now is a great time to consider it. The Nordstrom Anniversary sale has a pretty awesome selection right now, and other late summer sales will be popping up at other stores through August. All of the jackets pictured here are from the Nordstrom sale.

My leather jacket takes me from work to weekend without missing a beat. Sadly, the one I got in Paris several years ago has seen better days, and it's about time for me to replace it. Here's my advice when shopping for a leather jacket:

1. Consider alternatives to black.
Depending on your style and hair/eye coloring, etc., black might not be your best option. On me, black leather looks really aggressive, so I stick to brown, deep green, camel, and this year, possibly, gray.

When I say alternatives, please DO NOT read pink, orange, or turquoise. Loud, bright leather looks cheap no matter how expensive it actually was.

2. Fit is key
Leather stretches out as you wear it, so what you buy should not already be oversized. A jacket that fits trimly, with a LITTLE room to move around, is actually best. That stiffness will relax into comfort soon, I promise.

I'm not saying you should buy one you can barely zip. But if if fits well without a sweater underneath, it's a good indication that will probably fit well with a sweater pretty soon.

3. Quality matters
Since this is going to be a decent outlay of cash (nice jackets can be anywhere from $150-$600 and up), get the best quality you can afford, and your jacket will last a long time. You can even get it weather treated every year, so a little rain won't kill it.

(I don't recommend this jacket for the rainiest days, but depending on how heavily weather treated it is, most jackets can sustain small showers now and then.)

Seriously, a cheap jacket will always look cheap. And don't even talk to me about pleather. This is an unacceptable material for jackets.

4. Consider a timeless style
There are lots of non-trendy styles that are still fun and modern.

The first is a "scuba" style that I am drawn to- it's sleek and fits close to the body. I love the color, and this jacket comes in gray, too...

The second is a longer, belted trench version. This is a truly timeless style that's flattering on many body types.

The third is a cropped biker jacket. The shorter length and asymmetrical zipper make this modern, but the biker jacket is still a tried and true style that will serve you for years.

If you only buy one jacket, consider a less trendy style. If you have more than one, it's fun to experiment with brighter colors, shorter sleeves, and fun details liked ruffles, big buttons, or a hood.

5. Go to the damn store
This is one purchase I don't recommend making online. Because fit and feel are such a huge part of whether a jacket will work for you, it's best to just try it on at the store. Raise your arms, sit down, put your hands in the pockets (this is important- if you don't like the pockets, you will be annoyed every time you wear it).

While you're there, you can see if the new fall shoes have arrived...

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